John's Picks

John Foley is Paula’s husband. He is thrilled that Paula has found a way to buy all the books she wants. She just has to sell them. His jobs at the store are moving heavy objects and doing the taxes. He likes all sorts of books including mysteries, literature, humor, science fiction, fantasy, and historical fiction. 

Lately he has focused on books about ‘interesting times’ like the one we find ourselves in today. Many feature irreverent humor – because we all need a good laugh.

Dodger By Terry Pratchett Cover Image
Not Available from Us
ISBN: 9780062009517
Published: HarperCollins - September 24th, 2013

The Artful Dodger takes center stage as Charles Dickens, Benjamin Disraeli, Sir Robert Peel, and Sweeny Todd become bit players in this tale of the seamy underside of Victorian London. Dodger makes a living mud larking in the sewers and picking a pocket or two, but now he must help a runaway woman escape her captors with the help of his mentor – Fagan. Victoria’s great, great, granddaughter knighted the author for being funny, so I’m not the only one who likes him. If you like Dodger check out his Disk World series – it’s as if the Monty Pythons wrote fantasy.

Noir: A Novel By Christopher Moore Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062433992
Availability: Available to Order
Published: William Morrow Paperbacks - April 2nd, 2019

Christopher Moore has written books like You Suck, about vampires at the Marina Safeway, and Lamb – the Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal. (See what I mean by irreverent?) His latest San Francisco book, Noir, takes place in North Beach and Chinatown shortly after World War II. It’s about a dame, a bartender, a giant snake, space aliens, a kidnapping, and the Bohemian Grove. You know – typical San Francisco stuff.

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Hollow Kingdom By Kira Jane Buxton Cover Image
ISBN: 9781538745830
Availability: Available to Order
Published: Grand Central Publishing - July 7th, 2020

The zombie apocalypse through the eyes of a foul-mouthed crow, what’s not to like? Our smart phones have literally turned us all into zombies. So, the all-knowing giant squid at the Seattle aquarium sends our hero and his fearless blood hound companion on a quest – free the trapped pets! Step away from the iPhone and enjoy the ride!

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Feral Creatures By Kira Jane Buxton Cover Image
ISBN: 9781538735244
Availability: Available to Order
Published: Grand Central Publishing - August 24th, 2021

"S.T., the irrepressible, cursing crow is my new favorite apocalyptic hero."―Helen Macdonald, New York Times bestselling author of H Is for Hawk, Praise for Hollow Kingdom

"With infinite heart and humor, Kira Jane Buxton's fine-feathered narrator guides us through richly imagined animal realms while braving the terrifying collapse of the human world."―Mona Awad, author of 13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl and Bunny, Praise for Hollow Kingdom

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A Gentleman in Moscow: A Novel By Amor Towles Cover Image
ISBN: 9780143110439
Availability: At the Store Now
Published: Penguin Books - March 26th, 2019

It is the early 1920s and a bad time to be a Russian aristocrat, but this gentleman is also a poet of the revolution. So instead of a firing squad, the Soviets place him under house arrest in the most luxurious hotel in Moscow, then forget about him for thirty years. The Count makes the hotel his home, thrives in a difficult situation, and turns sheltering in place into an art form.

Wolf Hall: A Novel (Wolf Hall Trilogy #1) By Hilary Mantel Cover Image
Not Available from Us
ISBN: 9780312429980
Published: Picador - August 31st, 2010

Hilary Mantel’s three book series on Thomas Cromwell and his complicated relationship with Henry VIII is smart and gritty. Cromwell had the mind of a 21st century financier and entrepreneur while living in a time of absolute monarchs and churches that could execute you on a whim. Mantel brings the man and his time to life in three books that are fun to read. Start out with Wolf Hall and you’ll have Bring Up the Bodies and The Mirror and the Light for future reading. Then, for an alternate perspective on the same story, read the play A Man for All Seasons by Robert Bolt.

Make Russia Great Again: A Novel By Christopher Buckley Cover Image
Not Available from Us
ISBN: 9781982157463
Published: Simon & Schuster - July 14th, 2020

When Sarah Palin ran for VP a few years ago, satirist Christopher Buckley quit writing. He said it was no longer possible to satirize American politics. Well, he’s back with a vengeance. Herbert K. Nutterman, Trump’s fictional Chief of Staff, is writing this memoir from federal prison. A top-secret NSA artificial intelligence platform – Placid Reflux – hacked the Russian election system and is trying to return the Communists to power. And we can’t turn it off. Also, a Russian oligarch is blackmailing the president to get his assets unfrozen. Herb is tasked with fixing everything and winning the 2020 election. His previous job was managing a chain of Trump hotels, so he’s totally got this. It’s funnier than reality.

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Project Hail Mary: A Novel By Andy Weir Cover Image
ISBN: 9780593135204
Availability: Available to Order
Published: Ballantine Books - May 4th, 2021

The sole survivor on a desperate, last-chance mission to save both humanity and the earth, Ryland Grace is hurtled into the depths of space when he must conquer an extinction-level threat to our species. From the author of "The Martian".

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Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal By Christopher Moore Cover Image
ISBN: 9780380813810
Availability: At the Store Now
Published: William Morrow Paperbacks - May 25th, 2004

The birth of Jesus has been well chronicled, as have his glorious teachings, acts, and divine sacrifice after his thirtieth birthday. But no one knows about the early life of the Son of God, the missing years—except Biff, the Messiah's best bud, who has been resurrected to tell the story in the divinely hilarious yet heartfelt work "reminiscent of Vonnegut and Douglas Adams" (Philadelphia Inquirer).

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The Corrections: A Novel By Jonathan Franzen Cover Image
Not Available from Us
ISBN: 9780312421274
Published: Picador - September 1st, 2002

“Marvelous . . . Everything we want in a novel--except, when it's rocking along, for it never to be over.” ―The New York Times Book Review


“In its complexity, its scrutinizing and utterly unsentimental humanity, and its grasp of the subtle relationships between domestic drama and global events....It is a major accomplishment.” ―Michael Cunningham

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Reamde: A Novel By Neal Stephenson Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062191496
Availability: At the Store Now
Published: William Morrow Paperbacks - May 15th, 2012

Reamde is an entertainment, an enormous, giddily complex one. There’s no telling what Stephenson might be planning for his next novel, but now’s the time to dive into a first-rate intellectual thriller without fear of being overwhelmed by its virtuosity.” -- San Francisco Chronicle

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The Color of Magic: A Novel of Discworld By Terry Pratchett Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062225672
Availability: Available to Order
Published: Harper - January 29th, 2013

In this, the maiden voyage through Terry Pratchett's divinely and recognizably twisted alternate dimension, the well-meaning but remarkably inept wizard Rincewind encounters something hitherto unknown in the Discworld: a tourist! Twoflower has arrived, Luggage by his side, to take in the sights and, unfortunately, has cast his lot with a most inappropriate tour guide—a decision that could result in Twoflower's becoming not only Discworld's first visitor from elsewhere . . . but quite possibly, portentously, its very last. And, of course, he's brought Luggage along, which has a mind of its own. And teeth.


“Ingenious, brilliant, and hilarious.” (Washington Post)

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On the Wealth of Nations: Books That Changed the World By P. J. O'Rourke Cover Image
Not Available from Us
ISBN: 9780802143426
Published: Grove Press - December 21st, 2007

In On The Wealth of Nations, America’s most provocative satirist, P. J. O’Rourke, reads Adam Smith’s revolutionary The Wealth of Nations so you don’t have to. Recognized almost instantly on its publication in 1776 as the fundamental work of economics, The Wealth of Nations was also recognized as really long:  the original edition totaled over nine hundred pages in two volumes including the blockbuster sixty-seven-page digression concerning the variations in the value of silver during the course of the last four centuries,” which, to those uninterested in the historiography of currency supply, is like reading Modern Maturity in Urdu.” Although daunting, Smith’s tome is still essential to understanding such current hot-topics as outsourcing, trade imbalances, and Angelina Jolie.